20 Best Things to Do in Butte, MT

Source: Flickr / James St. John | CC BY 2.0

Butte is a vibrant city bursting with culture and adventure. Nicknamed the “Richest Hill on Earth,” this historic place has been home to over 34,000 people for centuries who enjoy exploring its rich mining heritage along with many attractive attractions like outdoor activities, historical sites, great restaurants and exciting entertainment venues.

Interactive Map of 20 Things to Do in Butte (MT)

Source: Map data @2023 Google

1. World Museum of Mining

The World Museum of Mining is an incredible place to explore the history of mining. Founded in 1963, this museum was a tribute to the hard-working miners who helped shape and build the city. It features over 50 buildings, including a replica underground mine, a gallows frame from Uptown Butte, and a restored 1890s schoolhouse. The museum also offers interactive exhibits throughout its grounds, such as an ore cart ride. In addition, visitors can learn about mining techniques used by early settlers, get hands-on experience with fundamental tools used during that era, and explore more than 500 artifacts on display and over 1 million documents related to mining.

2. Our Lady of the Rockies

Our Lady of the Rockies is an iconic landmark in Butte, situated atop the Continental Divide at 8,510 feet. This 90-foot-tall statue was built as a tribute to all women in 1979. Our Lady of the Rockies stands with her arms outstretched and her head bowed to symbolize peace and protection for Butte citizens. The statue is made up of nearly 4 million pounds of poured concrete which took over three years to complete. It has become one of Montana’s most recognizable landmarks and can be seen from miles away! Visitors can take a guided tour around the base or participate in special events such as weddings or memorial services onsite.

3. Copper King Mansion

The Copper King Mansion is a beautiful 19th-century mansion once home to one of history’s largest copper mining barons. Built between 1884 and 1888 by William A. Clark, it was his primary residence until he died in 1925. The house features 24 rooms, including 8 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, with exquisite antiques from around the world adorning each room. Today the mansion serves as a museum where visitors can explore its grand halls and get an up-close look at its luxurious furnishings. With over 10 acres of grounds surrounding it, this historic site is well worth visiting for anyone interested in learning more about Butte’s rich history.

4. Headframe Spirits

Headframe Spirits is located on the site of an old copper mining operation and is a microdistillery producing some of Montana’s finest spirits using traditional methods and local ingredients. Visitors can tour the facility and learn how liquors are made or stop by the tasting room to sample some creations. 

5. Historic Clark Chateau Museum & Gallery

Explore the elegant halls of Clark Chateau Museum & Gallery and discover a world full of fascinating historical artifacts. Built by William A. Clark, one of copper mining’s most illustrious barons, this unique museum features over 30 rooms filled with an array items from around the globe – including antiques from China, Japan and Europe! Experience history up-close as you wander through its majestic galleries for an unforgettable experience.

6. Dumas Brothel Museum

The Dumas Brothel Museum is a unique and fascinating look into the city’s seedy past. Established in 1890, it was once one of the most famous brothels in the American West, operating for over 70 years before closing its doors in 1982. Today it stands as an important reminder of Butte’s colorful history and serves as a museum where visitors can learn about its past. The museum features artifacts from the era, including original furniture, photographs, and even some of Madam Ida Davis’ personal belongings. It also houses a collection of over 500 historical documents, such as court transcripts and legal papers, that provide insight into how prostitution was regulated once in Montana. A visit to this remarkable museum will surely be educational and entertaining!

7. Butte Archives

The Butte Archives is a unique repository with over five million documents and artifacts spanning over 125 years of local history. It includes an impressive collection of photographs, newspaper clippings, manuscripts, maps, books and other materials related to Butte’s rich cultural heritage. The archives also feature an extensive online database with information on people and places related to the area and a library full of rare books and publications from around the world.

8. Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park

Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park is an incredible place to explore and discover Montana’s natural beauty. The park offers a variety of activities, from camping and hiking to fishing and canoeing. Visitors can also take guided tours through the spectacular limestone caverns once home to Lewis and Clark during their legendary expedition across America. Beautiful formations such as stalactites, stalagmites, columns, curtains and flowstone are inside the caves. Along with these awe-inspiring features, visitors will find a wide range of wildlife, including bats, birds and amphibians, living among the many crevices throughout the cave system.

9. The Granite Mountain Speculator Mine Memorial

The Granite Mountain Speculator Mine Memorial is a somber reminder of the tragedy that occurred in this city in 1917. On June 8th that year, an underground fire broke out at the mine and quickly spread through its tunnels. The fire raged for two weeks before it was finally extinguished, claiming 168 lives in what remains one of the deadliest disasters ever experienced by miners in America. Visitors can explore the memorial grounds and view artifacts from the disaster, including the charred mining equipment and personal belongings left behind by those who perished. In addition to honoring those who lost their lives during this tragedy, The Granite Mountain Speculator Mine Memorial serves as a poignant reminder of how dangerous mining can be and why safety should always come first when working with hazardous materials.

10. Ridge Waters Water Park

Boasting over 10 acres of fun-filled attractions, Ridge Waters Water Park offers 3 giant waterslides, a wave pool and a lazy river. For those who prefer more tranquil activities, Ridge Waters also offers an Olympic swimming pool with lap lanes and a kiddie splash pad complete with water cannons and fountains. There are two snack bars on site, so you can grab some refreshments while you enjoy your day at the park.

11. Berkeley Pit Viewing Stand

Berkeley Pit Viewing Stand overlooks the largest Superfund site in America, a former copper mine that has been transformed into a toxic lake of acid and heavy metals. The view from this platform offers visitors a unique perspective on one of Montana’s greatest environmental disasters. From the top, you can see how the pit stretches for over 1700 acres and descends nearly 5000 feet below ground level. It’s estimated that more than 50 billion gallons of contaminated water fill the pit today, and it’s so acidic that nothing can survive within its depths! Visitors to this historic location are sure to leave with a better understanding of our country’s industrial past and its current efforts at environmental restoration.

12. Butte-Silver Bow Public Library

With over 140,000 titles spanning all genres, Butte-Silver Bow Public Library will, indeed, have something for everyone. Library offers an extensive selection of e-books and audiobooks. In addition, the library provides several educational programs, reading clubs and writing workshops. There’s even a twice-monthly film series that showcases classic films from Hollywood’s golden age! 

13. The Richest Hill

The Richest Hill is a historic site that recalls America’s industrial era. Once renowned as the “Copper Capital of the World,” it housed an abundant supply of copper ore in its early 1900s heyday, providing over a billion dollars’ worth to fuel industry and commerce nationwide. Today visitors can explore this captivating locale through guided or self-guided hikes along scenic trails winding up The Richest Hill – embodying both our nation’s remarkable past and present success stories!

14. Anaconda

Anaconda is a small town with just over 8,000 people. The city was founded in 1883 as a copper mining camp and retains its old-fashioned charm today. Anaconda is home to the world’s largest smelter stack, standing at 585 feet tall and was built in 1919. This towering structure can be seen from miles away! The town also boasts an outdoor amphitheater that hosts live music during the summer months and several museums dedicated to preserving the area’s rich history.

15. Orphan Girl Mine

The Orphan Girl Mine is a historic mining site with an interesting past. Named after the daughter of its first owner, this mine has been producing copper ore since 1876 and continues to be actively mined today. The mine covers over 200 acres and reaches depths of up to 3000 feet below ground level! It’s estimated that more than 3 million tons of copper have been unearthed from these depths over the years. Visitors can take guided tours around the grounds or explore on their own for a unique experience. With its rich history and stunning views, the Orphan Girl Mine is definitely worth exploring during your time in Butte!

16. Mountain Con Mine

The Mountain Con Mine is a mining site that has been producing copper ore since 1894 and covers over 500 acres of land. Over the years, more than 8 million tons of copper have been unearthed from these depths! In addition to its impressive size, the Mountain Con Mine also offers some incredible views from its many vantage points around the property. Visitors can take guided tours along winding trails to explore this historical location or even go on their own self-guided hikes for an unforgettable experience.

17. Butte Plaza Mall

Butte Plaza Mall is a destination for shopping and entertainment. Located in the city center, this mall offers over 60 stores spread across two levels, with plenty of parking available onsite. The mall features an outdoor area complete with a fountain and seating areas so that shoppers can take a break from their retail therapy. Additionally, there are several events held throughout the year, including live music performances, art shows, book readings and more – making it easy to find something fun to do while visiting Butte Plaza Mall!

18. Delmoe Lake

Delmoe Lake, located just outside the city limits, is a stunning lake stretching over 600 acres and reaching depths of up to 75 feet. It’s home to various fish species, making it a great spot for fishing enthusiasts! The lake also has several boat launches, as well as picnic areas where you can enjoy some time outdoors with family or friends.

19. MBMG Mineral Museum

Explore the wonders of geology and mineral sciences at MBMG Mineral Museum! Immerse yourself in interactive displays, hands-on exhibits featuring extraordinary specimens from across the globe – some older than 4 billion years. Take part in a guided tour to enhance your exploration with knowledgeable staff members who can share stories about these remarkable collections.

20. The Forgotten War Memorial

The Forgotten War Memorial in Butte is a memorial with the names of over 200 local soldiers who served and lost their lives during the Korean War era. This poignant monument reminds us that we should never forget those who sacrificed for our freedom.